Quenneville Fined $10,000 for Correctly Criticizing Refs: Is the NHL Turning Into Oceania?
Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville was fined $10,000 by the league today for his comments regarding the hit on Marian Hossa by Raffi Torres and the fact that the hit went unpunished by the on-ice officials. The hit was clearly illegal, as Torres has been suspended indefinitely pending a hearing which will likely lead to a long suspension, and one must wonder whether the Coyotes forward targeted one of Chicago’s superstars.
Quenneville responded to the hit as you would expect any coach; he blasted the referees who apparently were playing Draw Something on their iPhones instead of watching the play. Yes, refereeing is a tough job and quite often calls or non-calls are blown, but how do you miss someone getting hit harder than Brad Marchand hitting a bottle of Jager?
In a move straight from the pages of 1984, the NHL responded by laying down a huge fine for a coach voicing his opinion. Apparently Gary Bettman and the NHL have the fragile ego of an awkward teenager who pouts and cries when you point out that their voice cracks.
The fine is pointless censorship; anyone who knows anything about hockey, and perhaps even Mike Milbury, knows the hit was illegal, so why get mad when someone points it out? The league encourages the media to bombard players and coaches with questions and comments at interviews and press conferences, even during games, so you would think that they would allow some honest and correct criticism.
What is absolutely infuriating about this is the fact that Quenneville’s $10,000 fine is four times the amount the league fined Shea Weber for his… well, for this. To recap, if you smash an opposing player’s head into the glass, $2,500. Accurately criticize officials for missing a blatant illegal hit that causes a player to be taken away on a stretcher? $10,000.
Between ridiculous fines and apparently random suspensions, the league is becoming a laughingstock.
Feel the same way? Comment or Tweet. Feel differently? Well, you can comment or Tweet me, but I will likely respond with ridicule and childish name calling.